(Dover, DE) August 20, 2021 – The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) Board of Directors convened yesterday for a meeting as a follow up to its August 12th regularly scheduled board meeting. Topics of discussion included an update from Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), discussion on the creation of an emergency regulation for the upcoming sports seasons, recommendations of sport specific guidance, determination of fall sports tournaments, and executive director updates.
Per the update from DPH representatives Dana Carr and Jamie Mack, there has been a significant increase in COVID-19 infections throughout the state of Delaware. It is recommended that sport teams use layered risk mitigation strategies to help further prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing a face covering on sidelines when social distancing of 3 feet cannot be maintained, member schools increasing ventilation during indoor athletic activities, and continuing to eliminate post-contest hand shakes. Sport teams are encouraged to continue to follow the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, which include wearing a mask during crowded outdoor events when social distancing cannot be maintained. Free walk-in vaccination clinics continue to be offered by DPH throughout New Castle, Sussex and Kent counties. More information on how to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/vaccine/
The board discussed the creation of an emergency regulation that included face coverings, screenings, and the board’s authority to mandate additional sport-specific requirements. The DIAA Board of Directors voted 6-5 to approve the creation of an emergency regulation but the motion did not pass as 10 votes are required to adopt a DIAA regulation. Member school athletic directors should follow guidance from the state of Delaware requirements, Delaware Department of Education Emergency Order 815, the CDC, DPH, and Delaware Health and Social Services Emergency Order 4202. DIAA has collaborated with DPH, Delaware Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, sport committees, and state rule interpreters to develop recommended guidance on risk mitigation strategies for interscholastic athletics.
With the exception of DIAA football’s realignment, all other DIAA fall sport tournaments will revert back to the 2019 tournament format for tournament eligibility and seeding. Teams are expected to meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in the tournament manual for consideration of selection to the DIAA championship tournament field. DIAA strongly encourages all interscholastic participants to diligently practice risk mitigation strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any contest that was on a team’s schedule on the sport’s first date of competition and experienced a COVID-19 related schedule disruption that is not able to be rescheduled, will be counted as a no-contest. However, member schools should exercise good faith to do their best to reschedule any contests impacted by COVID-19 in an effort to promote opportunities for participation in interscholastic athletics.
DIAA joins 37 other state associations that have partnered with Go Fan for digital ticketing. Starting with Fall 2021 sport championships, DIAA will be using digital ticketing for all tournament events. Executive Director Donna Polk also shared with the board DIAA’s progress update on July 31 to the Joint Legislative Oversight and Sunset Committee. An update on Regulation 1009 proposed regulation changes and coaching out of season updates were also discussed. Lastly, the board was informed of DIAA current hot topics that included inquiries about DIAA sport division classifications, waivers, eighth grade participation, Regulation 1009 coaching out of season and health and safety requirement proposals, DIAA governance structure, and NCAA name, image and likeness.
The next DIAA Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 9th.
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